On Monday, a shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) arrived in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda. That in and of itself was not overly remarkable, but where the shipment came from was. The shipment was the first purchase and importation of American natural gas by a former Soviet state. While the quantity of gas sold was minor, the shipment symbolized dramatic shifts in the worldwide energy market with the potential to influence geopolitics by reducing Russia’s ability to manipulate energy access to exert influence over its neighbors.

Although the initial shipment was primarily of symbolic impact, officials in Lithuania were clear about the message they were trying to send.

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